Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Psalms 147-150

Psa 147.1-20 is similar to Psa 146 and it again has no heading or no author named, and it has a similar theme of praising Yehovah for his mercy and kindness. It is read on Rosh Ha Shanah and Yom Kippur. It begins and ends with “Hallelu Yah” or “Praise the Lord.”

Psa 147.1-6 tells us about why it is good to praise the Lord about his power and care, “Praise the Lord (Hallelu Yah)! For it is good to sing praises to our God; for it is pleasant and praise is becoming (fitting, or literally “beautiful” in Hebrew-v 1). Yehovah builds up Jerusalem (actively cares for it); he gathers the outcasts (exiles) of Israel (when Jerusalem will be finally rebuilt-Isa 66.20; Ezek 37.11-28-v 2). He heals the brokenhearted (in distress over what has happened to them in life) and binds up their wounds (pains-v 3). He counts the number of the stars (Yehovah not only cares for the nations and individuals, but he counts the stars. This means he can track the stars in the universe, which means he won’t lose track of those in exile either); he gives names to all of them (he knows each name of every star, which means he knows the name of every individual person, too-v 4). Great is our Lord (“adoneynu”) and abundant is strength (power); his understanding is infinite (beyond our calculations-v 5). Yehovah supports (relieves) the afflicted (humble); he brings down the wicked (rashim) to the ground (reverses the order of things-v 6).”

Psa 147.7-11 says that we should praise the Lord for his work in the universe and tells us what delights him, “Sing unto the Lord (Yehovah) with thanksgiving (a natural response when we realize what he has done); sing praises to our God (eloheynu) on the lyre (kinor-a musical instrument and a picture of the heart-v 7), who covers the heavens with clouds, who provides rain for the earth (dark clouds seem to be fateful and terrible, but they are a blessing), who makes grass to grow on the mountains (transforming a barren mountain into something fruitful-v 8). He gives the beast its food, and to the young ravens which cry (he feeds the animals-v 9). He does not delight in the strength of the horse (God helps the helpless animals and does not delight in haughty animals or war horses); he does not take pleasure in the legs of a man (to control the horse, man’s strength-v 10). Yehovah favors those who fear him, those who wait for his kindness (this is what he takes pleasure in-v 11).”

Psa 147.12-20 tells us that we should praise God for his care according to his great power, “Praise the Lord, O Jerusalem! Praise your God, O Zion (v 12)! For he has strengthened the bars of your gates (protection); he has blessed your sons within you (alludes to the future-v 13). He makes peace in your borders (so the kahal can grow without being disturbed by war); he satisfies you with the finest of wheat (troubles can be caused by the shortage of food-v 14). He sends forth his command to the earth (for rain); his word runs swiftly (to accomplish what was commanded-v 15). He gives snow like wool (like a fleece, it warms and insulates the earth); he scatters the hoarfrost like ashes (frost looks like ashes-v 16). He casts forth his ice as fragments (hail); who can stand before his cold (we are dependent on God’s merciful control of nature. He can take water and turn it into ice if he commands it-v 17). He sends forth his word and melts them (he can take the snow, hail and ice and melt them for moisture); he can cause his wind to blow and the waters to flow (dissolves the ice when warm winds blow to make water flow-v 18). He declares (relates) his words to Jacob (has also spoken to man and revealed himself and his Torah to Israel-Rom 3.1), and his ordinances to Israel (the ultimate purpose of his orderly laws in creation is to inspire man to put his life in order through the Torah and its revelation of Messiah and the redemption-Rom 10.4-v 19). He has not dealt thus with any nation (no other nation has a covenant with Yehovah-Deut 4.6-8); and as for his ordinances, they (the nations) have not known them (the oracles of God were given to Israel, as were the Messiah and the redemption (Rom 3.1; 9.4-5; Deut 4.32-33; John 4.22-v 20).”

Psa 148.1-14 again has no heading or author named, and it calls upon all the creation to praise Yehovah, and in Rev 5.11-13 it will be fulfilled. This psalm is read on Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur.

Psa 148.1-6 tells us that the heavenly things should praise the Lord and gives the reasons why, “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord from the heavens (God’s close attendants); praise him in the heights (distant cosmic heights-v 1). Praise him, all his angels (malakim or “messengers”-Rev 4.8); praise him, all his hosts (heavenly and earthly armies, very numerous-v 2)! Praise him, sun and moon (earth’s light bearers); praise him all stars of light (shining in radiance to give light to the earth-v 3)! Praise him, highest heavens (literally “heaven of the heavens” where God’s throne is -Deut 10.14; 1 Kings 8.27; Neh 9.6), and the waters (thick clouds) that are above the heavens (v 4). Let them praise the name of Yehovah, for he commanded and they were created (Psa 33.6-9-v 5). For he has established them forever and ever (l’ad l’olam); he has made a decree which will not pass away (by the will of mankind or anything he does. They obey Yehovah from the beginning and they will not defy God. So much for the myth of “climate change” Gen 8.22-v 6).”

Psa 148.7-12 calls upon the earth and its inhabitants to praise Yehovah, “Praise Yehovah from the earth (earthly creatures), sea monsters (“taninim” or “dragons”) and all deeps (“tehomot” or subterranean deep. The sea is mentiones first because it was created before the dry land, and the sea monsters were in the waters before the land animals-v 7). Fire (lightning) and hail; snow and clouds; storm wind (earthly phenomena that can humble a person), fulfilling his word (subject to his commands-v 8); mountains and all hills; fruit trees (orchards) and all cedars (trees of the forest-v 9); beasts and all cattle (animal world); creeping things (reptiles, amphibians-v 10); kings of the earth and all peoples (nations); princes and all judges (who control mankind and crime-v 11); both young men and virgins; old men and children (people of every age and sex-v 12).”

Psa 148.13-14 give the reasons why all these should praise Yehovah, “Let them praise the name of Yehovah for his name alone is exalted, his glory is above earth and heaven (infinite, beyond limits-v 13). And he has lifted up a horn (power) for his people, praise for all his godly (chasid) ones; even the sons of Israel, a people near to him (intimate-v 14).”

Psa 149.1-9 is another psalm with no heading or author named. It exhorts Israel to praise Yehovah for his mercies in the past, as well as looking forward to future mercies and victories which are contained in his covenant promises. This psalm is also read on Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur.

Psa 149.1-4 speaks of praising Yehovah with a “new song” (“shir chadash” or renewed song alluding to “the Messiah has come”-see Psa 96.1 notes), “Praise the Lord! Sing to Yehovah a new song (restored, renewed song), and his praise in the congregation (“kahal”) of the godly (chasidim or devout) ones (v 1). Let Israel be glad in his maker (literally (“makers” in Hebrew-Ecc.12.1, alluding to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), let the sons of Zion (Israel and the kahal) rejoice in their king (Messiah-v 2). Let them praise his name with dancing (the word for “dancing” here is “machol” and it literally means a “circle that encloses an open space.” It carries the idea of forming a circle around Yehovah and dancing). Let them sing praises (make music) with the timbrel (drum) and lyre (kinor-v 3). For Yehovah takes pleasure (favors) his people (nation); he will beautify (adorn) the afflicted (humble) ones with salvation (v 4).”

Psa 149.5-9 speaks of the power of God’s people and the victory they will have, “Let the godly ones exult in glory (because of their eternal salvation and deliverance); let them sing for joy upon their beds (commune and meditate with Yehovah, sleep peacefully-v 5). Let the high praises of God be in their mouth (literally “throat”-Psa 88.1), and a two-edged sword in their hand (ready for battle; alludes to the Word of God in the Torah- Eph 6.17; Heb 4.12; Rev 19.15-v 6), to execute vengeance on the nations (part of Israel’s calling), and punishment on the peoples (v 7); to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron (all kingdoms will belong to the Lord and the Messiah-v 8); to execute on them the judgment written (in the Torah), this is the honor for all his godly ones (this is a clear allusion to Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur when Yehsua returns and subdues the False Messiah and the False Prophet, and the kings and rulers of the nations-Matt 24.29-31; Rev 19.1-21). Praise the Lord (v 9)!”

Psa 150.1-6 is the last psalm of the final five psalms and closes out the fifth book of the psalms, and this is considered a doxology for the whole book of Tehillim (Psalms). It again has no heading or author named and it was read on Rosh Ha Shannah and Yom Kippur, and as you entered the Temple courts. Praise is mentioned thirteen times and it alludes to the thirteen attributes of God contained in what is called the Midot in Exo 34.6-7.

Psa 150.1-2 speaks about the unlimited greatness of God and we should praise him everywhere and for every reason, “Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary (the Temple); praise him in his mighty expanse (the heaven above or “everywhere under the sun”-v 1). Praise him for his mighty deeds (in creation, sustaining the world, the redemption through Messiah, etc); praise him according to his excellent greatness (“gadol” which is above all else-v 2).”

Psa 150.3-6 tells us to praise him in various ways, “Praise him with trumpet sound (shofar on Rosh Ha Shannah for instance to assemble the people for worship and the festivals-Num 10.1-10; 1 Chr 16.6), praise him with harp (nevel) and lyre (kinor-v 3). Praise him with timbrel (drum) and dancing (“machol” which literally means “circle” or a circle dance); praise him with stringed instruments (literally “minnim” meaning “many kinds or parts” and the identity is unknown) and pipe (“ugav” is referenced in Gen 4.21 and may be a mouth organ or pipe-v 4). Praise him with loud cymbals (“tziltzelei shama” which were two copper plates that are struck together to make a crashing sound); praise him with resounding cymbals (“tziltzelei teruah” and may be smaller cymbals that one fastened to the thumb and middle finger. They produce a broken or “teruah” sound-v 5). Everything that has breath (“kol neshama” or “all your soul”) praise the Lord (Yah- a shortened form of Yehovah). Praise the Lord (Hallelu Yah-v 6)!”

The main theme of the Book of Tehillim is that man should acknowledge God’s mercy and kindness at all times, and praise him with all our hearts, mind, soul and spirit.

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *